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Texas fugitive arrested after two years on the lam

A former Plano science teacher and convicted child molester placed on the Most Wanted list after he went through extreme efforts to escape the watch of authorities — including reportedly faking his own death — was arrested last week in New Mexico.

Joe Wayne Cates, who authorities say had been on the lam since September 2006, was arrested Friday by New Mexico state police at a Sandia Park restaurant where he was working as a dishwasher, according to a press release issued by the Texas attorney general's office.

Cates, 51, was convicted in 2003 in Colin County on three counts of indecency with a child for molesting three former male students — ages 8, 11, and 14 — between 1989 and 1994. He was sentenced to four years in state prison on one count and 10 years' probation on the others and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Cates was paroled in October 2004. A warrant was issued for his arrest in September 2006 after he violated his parole by failing a polygraph exam.

But authorities say Cates went into hiding, prompting a second arrest warrant to be issued against him for failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements. He was placed on the Texas Department of Public Safety's Ten Most Wanted List in September 2008.

Authorities located Cates in New Mexico based on information discovered by the Attorney General's fugitive unit in Fort Worth, the release stated.